Friday, May 2, 2014

Italian Road Trip. Third stop: Florence 8/29 - 8/31

With a few extra days to spend with Nick and Yili before they had to fly out to Iceland, we decided to spend our remaining time together in Florence. We parked our rental car at the edge of the city limits, took a public bus straight into the heart of the city and took a short walk to our hotel.
Two hour drive to Florence
Google Maps 1.0

After settling into the hotel, we set out for lunch and some sightseeing. At the end of the tourist season, the streets were still packed with people. Not even an afternoon downpour could scare away the crowds. Many just found the closest overhang to wait out the afternoon rain shower. Since it was Q's first time in Florence, we too were not deterred by a little water and set out for an afternoon of exploring the city.
Can't get enough Italian food.
Waiting out the rain.
Braving a light rain has its bright side.
Laure in front of the Ponte Vecchio.
Brunelleschi's Dome

On our only full day we began with a simple breakfast at the hotel and set out to the Accademia Gallery to see Leonardo's David. It was breathtaking piece and worth the effort of reserving a time to enter the museum.  We followed it up with a sandwich and a glass of wine on a curb - a Rick Steve's pick. it was a nice recharge for walking up the stairs of the Florence Cathedral and Giotto's Bell Tower. At the top we enjoyed a nice cool breeze along with a great view of the city.
An "I Due Fratellini" budget lunch
Heading to the top of the Duomo, inside the actual Dome.
A mandatory photo at the top

Q and I had some time in the late afternoon to explore on our own. We were able to visit a few famous Florence sites. And continue my personal mission of finding the best gelato in town.
View from Piazzale Michelangelo
Q's favorite type of art - Street Art
Gelateria Santa Trinita, arguably the best gelato

Like any proper Italian holiday, our time revolved around eating. Of course, Nick and Yili later joined in my search for the best gelato.
Always on the hunt for authentic Italian food.
Mmmm more gelato.
So much to eat and so little time.

After two short nights in Florence, our plans forced us to head in different directions. After a quick farewell to Nick and Yili in the morning, we set off in different directions to our next destinations. We will miss our travel companions and hope for another vacation together next year.